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Monday, December 13, 2010

English Defence League

Jeff Marsh

Jeff Marsh was a football thug in the 70s and 80s whose trademark was a stab wound or two in the legs of opposition football fans. He's proud of his past and has published his 'memoirs' on internet. "As far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a hooligan" he recalls. He wasn't even interested in football but it gave him the opportunity to get involved in the ultimate gang war. "I thought I'd died and gone to heaven" he said. He's served three jail terms for violence including a two year sentence for stabbing two Manchester United fans. He's now 44 and a family man, but he hasn't mellowed or settled down, he's as dangerous as ever and he's a senior member of the English Defence League.

They say the aim of the EDL is to counter what it perceives as the Islamification of Britain. Although they have no formal membership, they now have nearly 40,000 supporters on their Facebook page. A year ago, they had 1500.

The last time the EDL marched through Luton, 250 men went on a rampage and smashed shop widows, overturned cars and a number of people were attacked. On the weekend, they visited Peterborough and 1,000 police officers from 18 forces had to be called in. In October it was Leicester, before that Blackburn, Dudley Bolton, Stoke and Nottingham. In all the EDL have held around 16 marches since being formed in 2009 and most have ended in violence with huge police costs.

Luton is again in the headlines with news that the Swedish suicide bomber lived there with his wife and children for about ten years.

"What has started cannot be stopped now. It has begun...." they said.